Everything posted by ddoggett
First, I find it idiotic for Contracting Officers to accept the guidance of “well, we have always done it that way”. That said, my agency has an issue regarding the use of contractors rather than Civil Service employees to fill a vacant position. The agency has several hard to fill positions (mostly medical) and have exhausted all recruiting efforts to hire individuals under OPM guidelines. Therefore, in certain situations, the agency wishes to fill this void with a non-personal service contract. However, the response from several Contracting Officers has always been that this practice is illegal. The agency would be filling a Civil Service position with a contractor. The only avenue for the agency is to eliminate the Civil Service position from the staffing inventory and then solicit and award a non-personal service contract for the position. This has been the standard response for as long as I can remember. However, after careful research, I find nothing that supports this interpretation. FAR 37.104 is very clear that personal service contracts cannot be used to circumvent civil service laws. However, the FAR is silent regarding the use of non-personal service contracts. Therefore, it is my interpretation…….if the performance work statement can be written where the duties/responsibilities of the contractor clearly fit within the framework of a non-personal service contract, the agency can use a contractor to fill this need. Is my interpretation inaccurate?
All, To answer some of your questions, 1. We are a civilian agency, not DoD. 2. Within the agency, there are civilian service employees and contractors performing the same duties. Quick example, agency staffing guideline includes two (2) Dental Hygienist. However, the medical need requires an additional Dental Hygienist. Therefore, a non-personal service contract is solicited and awarded for an additional Dental Hygienist. 3. To Vern’s last comment……..My thought process for the original post was to see if other fellow Contracting Officers have had a similar experience. If yes, I would value the opinion/comment. If no, ignore the question. I have used Wifcon on numerous occasions while researching an issue and found it to be a valuable asset. I am not going to utilize the services of this website just for giggles and grins. Therefore, I apologize if my question annoyed you. At the request of a superior, I was simply researching an issue that has been a question mark in my mind and several other CO’s in my agency for many years. That said, I understand the use of private sector temps as outlined in FAR 37.112. However, the medical personnel are needed to fill a permanent need, not on an intermittent basis. I do agree with you that it is time to take the next step and request assistance from our commercial law branch. This question has lingered too long with no one within the agency knowing what is the correct answer